10 Ingredients to Add to Your Coffee That’ll Boost its Flavor
Let’s get one thing straight, we do not condone the idea additives to an exceptionally executed coffee. Coffee that has been respected and handled with care, passion, and skill all along its journey from farm to cup. There are, however, times you may find yourself with a bag of coffee that has been forgotten for over a couple of months at the back of a cupboard, or that bag of heavily discounted, not-to-recipe coffee that was just too good to pass up. No matter the extenuating circumstances, there are certain ingredients can take that subpar cup to the next level. Here are five ingredients that you can add to boost its flavour and create a more unique experience.
Cinnamon is a versatile spice that adds warmth and depth to any dish, including coffee. You can sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top of your coffee, add a cinnamon stick to your coffee while it’s brewing, or mix a bit of cinnamon into your coffee grounds before brewing. Cinnamon not only adds a delicious dimension to your coffee, but it also has numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, lowering blood sugar levels, and boosting brain function.
Cardamom is a spice commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a distinct, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with coffee. You can add a pinch of ground cardamom to your coffee grounds before brewing, or you can place a few cardamom pods in your coffee mug and pour hot coffee over them. Cardamom has been shown to have antioxidant properties and can help improve digestion.
Vanilla is a classic flavor that pairs well with coffee. You can add a splash of vanilla extract to your coffee, or you can use a vanilla-flavored syrup or creamer. You can also make your own vanilla syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan and adding a split vanilla bean. Simmer the mixture until the sugar has dissolved, and then remove the vanilla bean and allow the syrup to cool before adding it to your coffee. Vanilla adds a subtle sweetness to your coffee and can help balance any bitterness.
4. Cocoa Powder
A bit of a classic; cocoa powder adds that sweet chocolatey flavor we all know and love in the form of a Mocha. Quick and easy; just mix a tablespoon of cocoa powder to your finished cup of piping hot brewed coffee. Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improving heart health and reducing inflammation.
5. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a dairy-free alternative to traditional milk that adds a creamy texture and a hint of coconut flavor to your coffee. You can use canned coconut milk or a carton of coconut milk beverage. Simply pour a splash of coconut milk into your coffee, or use it as a replacement for creamer. Coconut milk is high in healthy fats and can help improve digestion and boost the immune system. Tip: Coconut milk with a medium-dark roast is recommended over a lighter roast.
Add a pinch of ground nutmeg to your coffee grounds before brewing, or you can sprinkle a bit of ground nutmeg on top of your finished cup of coffee. Nutmeg has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can help improve digestion. Tip: Nutmeg & Almond or Oat milk with a South American bean is a sure win.
7. Almond Milk
Almond milk is another dairy-free alternative to traditional milk that adds a nutty flavor and creamy texture to your coffee. You can use store-bought almond milk or make your own by blending almonds and water and straining the mixture through a cheesecloth. Almond milk is low in calories and high in vitamin E, making it a healthy addition to your coffee.
8. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that adds a rich, earthy flavor to coffee. You can add a drizzle of maple syrup into your finished cup of coffee, or you can make a maple syrup creamer by combining maple syrup and heavy cream or half-and-half in a saucepan and simmer until thickened. Maple syrup is a good source of antioxidants and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine that has a warm, slightly bitter flavor. You can add a pinch of ground turmeric to your coffee grounds before brewing, or you can make a turmeric latte by whisking ground turmeric, honey, and milk together and pour it over your coffee. Turmeric has numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system.
Ginger adds an interesting, spiced yet slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with a lighter roasted coffee. You can add a (tiny) pinch of ground ginger or steep a fresh ginger slice in a cup of brewed coffee. Ginger has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties and can help improve digestion.
Experimenting with different ingredients can be a fun and creative way to enjoy a coffee that’s not otherwise worthy of a straight brew. Whether you prefer a touch of sweetness from maple syrup, a warm spice like nutmeg or ginger, or a nutty flavor from almond milk, there are many ways to customize your coffee to your liking. Don’t be afraid to try new things and you can salvage that bag of otherwise-wasted beans.
Remember, try adding natural and complementing ingredients that can also provide health benefits beyond just enhancing the flavor. Many of the ingredients mentioned, such as cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger, have anti-inflammatory properties and can help boost your immune system. Others, like almond milk, can be a healthy alternative to traditional dairy milk, providing a good source of vitamin E.
In the spirit of reducing wastage, check out our post on 5 Uses for Spent Coffee Grounds! (add this line after we find that post)